It was in 1986 or 1987 when I saw The Manta Ray for the first time. I had no idea who had built it and why. During the 1990s when my interest in traditional custom cars was sparked I came across the name of its builder for the first time, Dean Jeffries. So in 2009 on my first trip to the holy land of car culture I was finally able to admire and appreciate some of Dean's work in real, in the shape of The Manta Ray exhibited at the Petersen Museum. In the meantime I had learned more about his builds and the impact he had made on automotive styling and custom car history. Yesterday, as the news of his passing spread over the social media I was struck not only by the thought that he was gone. It was more like, man he wasn't just a legend, he was a living legend. And he had still had his shop in Hollywood and I didn't make it there. Now it's too late. Godspeed, Dean Jeffries.
Photography is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get. At least I don't. Sometimes I go all the way of planning a shoot and bringing the "good" camera and all that jazz. And I hate the results. Sometimes I just have a cheap point and shoot on hand and fire away. And I like it.
During his lifetime, every european hot rodder undertakes at least one pilgrimage to the holy land of automotive culture. The travel itinerary usually consists of a similar list of sacred sites like speed shops, drag strips and burger joints. One of the most popular places to be visited by the european hot rod community is Mooneyes in Santa Fe Springs. Since I was a sinner for way too long and after living in southern California for more than half a year, I decided it was about time to do my duty.
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Tradition wants hot rods to be built from Ford parts. There might be an early nailhead or a hemi sitting between the frame rails. But everything around it should have been designed once upon a time in Dearborn, Michigan.
LOWTECH is all about traditional hot rods and customs.
And I hardly ever saw a hot rod that was appealing to my eyes and senses but wasn't a Ford.
Luckily there are geniuses like Roy of San Clemente, California who are capable of opening my stubborn, narrow-minded view. To my defense I must say he had to bring some pretty heavy machinery. And he had to piece it together from dozens of different car makes and models. But he did good. He did god damn good.
This is the story of Roy's 1934 Studebaker.